Monday, March 21, 2011

Cajun Bacon Mac

So over my spring break, I had a bunch of people stay at my apartment. We ended up doing a couple cook outs because getting into restaurants around Savannah during St. Patty's Day is just crazy. So one of the recipes that I made is my Cajun Bacon Mac. It's one of everyone's favorite recipes of mine. It's spicy, smoky, and creamy, but it's still really comforting like any mac n' cheese would be. My favorite part of the CBM is actually the topping. I decided to crush up some goldfish and mix it with some panko for a super-crispy crust. If you are not a fan of spicy food, then you can always tone it down some. But actually for this recipe I did a lot less spice because normally we like it to kick us in the ass. So, feel free to tinker with the recipe a bit. Cajun Bacon Mac goes great with BBQ & Burgers. Enjoy :)
Cajun Bacon Mac
For the Mac n’ Cheese:
1 16oz Box of Pasta Noodles
3T Butter
10 Strips of Bacon, Chopped
¼C Flour
1t Salt
½t Dry Mustard
¼t Pepper
2 ½C Milk
1 ½C + ½C Cheddar, Shredded
½lb Velveeta, Cut into Cubes
1C Smoked Gouda, Shredded
2T Hot Sauce
2T Cajun Seasoning
2t Paprika
1C Goldfish, Crushed
1C Panko
¼C Parmesan
1t Cajun Seasoning
2T Butter

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.
3. In large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, mustard and pepper until smooth; take off heat. Also, in a separate pan, cook the cubed bacon until crispy, drain from the fat and set aside.
4. Little by little, stir in milk until smooth. Stir constantly for 10 minutes on heat until thick; take off heat. Stir in 1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese, Velveeta cheese and Smoked Gouda cheese until melted. Next stir in Cajun seasoning, paprika, and cooked bacon.
5. Put cooked macaroni in a greased casserole dish, pour cheese & bacon mixture over and mix well. Sprinkle over the ½C of cheddar, then top with the crushed goldfish, panko, parmesan, and Cajun seasoning. Cut the 2T of butter into little cubes and sprinkle them on top of the crust, so that it will brown nicely.
6. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. 
7. Serve immediately.

source: smokehouse macaroni and cheese

*Check out the Pasta Link Party for this recipe, as well as many other wonderful recipes!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Bread

Hello all and Happy St. Patty's Day here from Savannah! It was a crazy celebration, and I'm already counting down the days until next year's celebration! Here are a couple pictures from our crazy day :)
Me and the boyfriend :)
Good Luck Irish Kisses 
Anyway, we made a lot of food this week, since I had about 10 people staying at my apartment. But one appetizer we made was Spinach Artichoke Bread. It's practically spinach artichoke dip on top of crusty delicious bread, and its just melty-goodness for reals! Anyway I hope you enjoy it, and it's super good for a party!!

Spinach Artichoke Bread 
For the Bread:
1 Italian Loaf of Bread, Sliced in Half Lengthwise
1C Artichokes, Chopped
1 10oz Box of Frozen Chopped Spinach, Defrosted and Squeezed
1T Garlic, Chopped
½ Block of Cream Cheese, Softened
¼C Mayo
½C Sour Cream
½C Mozzarella, Shredded
¼C Parmesan, Grated
¼t Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Topping:
1 ½C Mozzarella, Shredded
¼C Parmesan, Grated
½t Garlic Salt

1. Mix together the cream cheese, mayo, and sour cream until it is a blended mixture. Then add the artichokes, spinach, garlic, mozzarella, parmesan, and seasonings.
2. Once the mixture is incorporated, spread it on to the two slices of the bread until there is a thick layer. Then top it with the cheeses and seasonings. Place on the baking sheet.
3. Bake 350 for about 20 minutes, then broil the bread just until the cheese melts and starts to brown.
4. Cut into thick slices and serve immediately!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tomato Basil Soup

I don't know what is more comforting than soup... I mean honestly. But the funny thing is that I really don't like soup. I wouldn't order it at a restaurant, and I usually don't ever make it. But one of the only soups that I love is Tomato Basil Soup. There's something that is so rich and creamy about this kind of soup and it's just so wonderful. It's smooth but packs a bold punch of flavor. So, we finally decided that we were really in the mood for some Tomato Basil Soup, and I never realized how easy it is to make! So if you love this soup as much as we do, then you'll love this recipe! And of course I always have to give anything I make an extra kick, so the red pepper flakes are optional. I served ours with a grilled pimento cheese sandwich... even more yum! Well, enjoy :)
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with a Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich
For the Soup:
2T Butter
1T Olive Oil
1C Onions, Chopped
2T Garlic, Chopped
2 28oz Can of Crushed Tomatoes
4C Tomato Juice
1 ½C Heavy Cream
3T Pesto
1C Fresh Basil, Chopped
2T Italian Herb Paste
½t Red Pepper Flakes
½t Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

1. Melt the olive oil and butter on medium-high heat in a deep pot, toss in the chopped onions and garlic, and cook them until soft and translucent. Next, add in the crushed tomatoes and tomato juice. Let this cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
2. After the tomato mixture has cooked, add in the fresh basil, italian herb paste, pesto, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. Return back to low heat and cook for another 10 minutes.
3. Now, using an immersion blender, blend the tomato mixture until it a smooth, creamy soup. After the soup is blended, slowly stir in the heavy cream. Lastly season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Serve immediately!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Breakfast Pizza

We were starving this morning, and I mean starvin'. So we made some Breakfast Pizza. The nice thing about Breakfast Pizza is that you can really top it with anything you like. I decided to top ours with scrambled eggs, runny eggs, bacon, cheese, and fresh herbs. So if you want to make this, you can customize it with all your favorite things, maybe some sausage or some spinach... the possibilities are endless! Enjoy :)
Breakfast Pizza
For the Pizza:
1 Pizza Dough
3T Pesto
6 Slices of Bacon, Cooked & Chopped Roughly
2 Eggs, Scrambled
3 Eggs
1T Fresh Parsley, Chopped
3T Chives, Chopped
3T Green Onion, Chopped
2C Mozzarella, Shredded
¼C Parmesan, Grated
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

1. Preheat the oven to 500.
2. Stretch the pizza dough thinly on your pizza pan.
3. Spread the pesto in an even layer over your pizza. Then top with the two scrambled eggs, mozzarella cheese, chopped bacon, and Parmesan cheese.
4. Crack the three eggs on top of all of the ingredients, and then lightly salt & pepper them.
5. Cook the pizza for 8-10 minutes or until the egg whites are cooked, but the egg yolks are still runny. Once the pizza is cooked, top it with the parsley, chives, and green onions.
6. Serve immediately! 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Homemade Oreos

Hi everyone! I hope where you are is prettier than here, it's just not a pretty day here in Savannah :( Anyway, I'm sure everyone has that one thing that they love... and that they have to keep in their apartment for the late night snack or dessert. We definitely do. It's Mint Oreos. We keep them in my favorite cookie jar in the world, Mr. Owl. I have to have one every night, it's my guilty little pleasure, and well Clayton has to have like 5, no joke.  But to my dismay, I go to Mr. Owl to retrieve a cookie, and there weren't any left :(
Mr. Owl with no Mint Oreos
So that completely sucked. But luckily I had stored away a homemade oreo recipe that I had been dying to try, and I guess this was the perfect opportunity to make them. So, now Mr. Owl is full again with lots and lots of oreos; he's so happy! Well... Enjoy :)
Homemade Oreos
For the Cookie:
1 ¼C AP Flour
½C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1t Baking Soda
¼t Baking Powder
¼t Salt
1C Sugar
1 Stick + 2T Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
1 Large Egg

For the Filling:
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
½C Vegetable Shortening
3C Powdered Sugar, Sifted
1t Vanilla
Green Dye, If Needed
Mint Extract, If Needed

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with Pam.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, soda, powder, salt, and sugar. Then slowly add in the softened butter and egg. Mix until incorporated. Using a small ice cream scoop (or a teaspoon), scoop balls of cookie dough on the prepared sheets and bake each sheet for 9 minutes (flipping the sheets halfway through).
3. Once the cookies are done cooking, let them cool for 5 minutes on their cookie sheet, and then transfer them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
4. Meanwhile, make the filling by beating together the shortening and butter in a mixer until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the powdered and vanilla. Also, I added some mint extract and green dye to the filling because our favorite Oreo is the Mint Oreo. But the possibilities are endless, so you can make any type of filling you like.
5. Spoon on about a teaspoon of the filling into the middle of the cookie and top with another cookies. Slowly squeeze the cookies together, so that the filling spreads evenly.
6. Enjoy!